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Aerosmith - Permanent Vacation

Review: 129
Date: 24 May 03

 


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians:
Steven Tyler - Lead Vocals, Harmonica, and Piano
Joe Perry - Guitar and Background Vocals
Brad Whitford - Guitars
Tom Hamilton - Bass
Joey Kramer - Drums

Tracks Listing:
Hearts Done Time
Magic Touch
Rag Doll
Simoriah
Dude (Looks Like a Lady)
St. John
Hangman Jury
Girl Keeps Coming Apart
Angel
Permanent Vacation
I'm Down
The Movie


 


In 1984 Aerosmith had gone from being one of the biggest Bands in the world to a complete Rock 'n' Roll disaster area. Sales had hit an all time low and live performances were erratic to say the least; the results of living the life of Riley to the max. The last album by the original lineup had been a patchy affair ("Night in the Ruts" 1979), after which both guitarists, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, left the band to eventually be replaced by Rick Dufay and Jimmy Crespo. Both were very talented musicians, but their own lifestyle was never going to be a good influence on frontman Steve Tyler.

The band staggered back onto the road and even managed to produce an album, 'Rock in a Hard Place' 1982. Perhaps the least said about the better, it included a version of the easy listening classic 'Cry me a River', which was so full of pathos it nearly exploded.

But by late 1983 things had got to the point where some band members were sleeping on friends floors, Joe Perry's solo career had gone off the rails big time, Brad Whitford’s new band with Derek St. Holmes had released one album to commercial indifference and critical ridicule, what remained of the Band were in tatters.

Then old time fan and managerial genius Tim Collins came along and picked up the reigns. Bridges were built and at the first meeting of all the original players and management team, it was decided that if things were going to be put to rights it had to be done properly, in other words straight. A period in rehab was diagnosed after which even alcohol was banned in the studio or backstage at the concerts.

A new recording contract was signed with Geffen Records and the band went out on the road to get used to being a band again. The first new release from the band, "Done with Mirrors" 1985, was not a success, a good album, but somehow missing that 'Aerosmith' spark. So yet again 'Aerosmith' were written off.

Fate dealt 'Aerosmith' a wonderful hand when American Rap stars 'Run MC' asked Joe Perry and Steve Tyler to join them in the studio to record a Rap version of one of 'Aerosmith's' earliest hits "Walk this way". Once this was released and was a huge hit single worldwide on the back of massive airplay from MTV, 'Aerosmith' had one more chance. However, they knew it was now or never.

The whole band relocated to the Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver. The management brought in a new producer to replace Ted Templeton. Richard Fairbairn was first choice and accepted the job. Richard Fairbairn was really hot at the time having just come off producing the multi platinum "Slippery when Wet" for 'Bon Jovi'. Desmond Child and Jim Vallance were also brought to the studio to help out with the songwriting side of things.

This time 'Aerosmith’ fired on all six. Preceded by a hit single in the band’s own right "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" which again got heavy MTV play listing. The album "Permanent Vacation" was a massive hit worldwide - the boys were back in the saddle.

This is Rock 'n' Roll at its best, make no mistake. Right from the opening song "Hearts done time" when Bradford and Perry's guitar battle it out mid-song, to all the hit singles, including the power ballad "Angel", which still has enough grungy Perry guitar riffs to not make you feel too wimpy as you sing-along. Steve Tyler's "St. John" is probably the sleaziest song ever recorded by the band. If this song doesn't make you swagger, nothing will. The one cover version is a storming version of 'The Beatles' “I'm Down”, which thunders out the speakers with Tyler contributing a marvelously over the top Piano solo. Throughout every song Hamilton and Kramer lay down a rock solid groove, which carries you along from one to the next without skipping a beat. Album closer "The Movie " is a Joe Perry instrumental, broody and atmospheric, every home should have one.

From this point on there was no stopping 'Aerosmith', but it was close to disaster talk about living on the edge.

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

E-mail: review@mott-the-dog.com


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